Tortilla chef explains how to tell if an avocado is ripe
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Avocados are notoriously frustrating as fruits go. Striking the balance between under-ripe and overripe – and making them last – can be a difficult task to manage. However, there are some good tips and tricks to extend the lifespan of your avocado and keep it fresh for longer.
As a great topper for toast, salads, and sandwiches, avocados have gained themselves a well-earned place in the fridges of many.
However, despite the popularity of avocados, many still struggle to preserve the leftover slices when not being used in their entirety.
This leaves many having to eat it either mushy and browning or having to just simply discard it, which is not only poor for your pocket but also a sad and preventable contributor to food waste.
Fortunately, as avocados are, as mentioned, particularly popular, it also means many have had the chance to test out good ways to extend their freshness.
But one trick, in particular, notably stirring from an Australian Sustainable Swappers group on Facebook, has been described by some testers as ‘life changing’.
How to make avocado last longer
According to Sustainable Swappers group member, simply “brush melted coconut oil over your avocado to keep it sealed”.
This simple trick is said to keep avocados fresh “for days”. It’s also recommended to keep it like this in the fridge.
The consistency of coconut oil very much depends on the temperature it’s stored, so you might have to melt it a bit first before layering it on the flesh of the avocado.
The hardy coconut coating will provide a strong layer between the fruit and the air, which will stop it from oxidizing.
This method also shouldn’t change its taste too much, unlike other popular methods of preserving, such as adding lemon juice.
So for those that find a more citrusy avocado less appealing, this could be a great method to try out.
Another interesting trick to preserve comes from Dana Velden at The Kitchn, who says keeping the leftover avocado in an airtight container with a piece of onion in the fridge is another good way to elongate freshness.
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Ms Velden said: “I’ve had a cut avocado stay fresh for several days this way. I don’t know why this is, but I suspect that it has to do with the sulfur compounds that the onion releases.
“This is the same sulfur that makes you cry when you chop onions, but it is also used as a preservative.
“The onion’s smell and taste don’t seem to transfer to the avocado, as far as I can tell. But I’m not overly sensitive to onions, so you may want to check this out first if you are.”
Why do avocados turn brown?
Avocados contain an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase, which causes the flesh to brown when exposed to oxygen.
This is why they’re often green underneath the pit but brown on the areas exposed around it. The pit acts as an effective protective barrier against the air.
So, in order to maintain its fresh green colouring, the flesh of an avocado needs to be protected from oxygen exposure.
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